A few years ago Caroline Cecil was an aspiring figure skater with dreams of turning professional when everything dramatically changed.
“I had a really serious accident where I had to quit just because I wasn’t performing as well as I was prior to the accident,” Cecil said. “I had no idea what I was going to do with my life because that is what I was really passionate about.”
So the Nanaimoite decided to save up her money and travel overseas.
“The plan was to go to Australia and work,” she said.
But shortly before her planned departure date, fate would intervene in the form of the Sasquatch Festival in Grant County, Wash.
“It was my first real big festival,” Cecil said. “I can’t even explain, but there is this feeling you get [at festivals].”
Soon after, Cecil made the life-altering decision to become a DJ.
“Instead of going to Australia I took all my money that was saved and I bought all my equipment and I broke up with my boyfriend,” Cecil said. “I quit everything and locked myself in a room and learned how to produce music.”
It is a decision that has paid off in many ways for Cecil, who goes by the stage name Whipped Cream. In less than three years, the Woodlands Secondary School graduate has amassed millions of hits on her SoundCloud page, played to crowds throughout the province and is set to perform at one of North America’s premiere festivals.
“The only reason I really skated, I realize now, is because of the music,” Cecil said.
On Friday (May 29) Cecil, 22, will be spinning tracks at Koncept Nightclub.
This past February, Cecil released her debut EP, Law of Attraction, to Unspeakable Records. The album contains three original songs that were mixed, mastered and produced by Cecil.
“I love stuff that is going to make people get down and move. I want to try and change what is going on and not be generic,” Cecil said. “The beautiful thing about electronic music is the possibilities are endless and I don’t have to be tied down to any genre.”
After years of hard work, Cecil will realize one of her goals in August when she showcases her talents at the Shambhala Music Festival, one of continent’s biggest electronic dance music festivals, in Salmo, B.C.
“I heard from so many people that you have to be a DJ for five to 10 years before you play Shambhala,” Cecil said. “Last year I said ‘I am going to play it’ and I am playing now and I am just so grateful.”
Cecil will be performing on the festival’s main stage and is part of a lineup that includes Pretty Lights, Griz and Kygo.
“I am so excited,” Cecil said.
Electronic dance music and its many sub-genres has exploded in popularity over the past 10 years. But despite the growth, the industry is male dominated and has relatively few female DJs or producers.
According to Girls Gone Vinyl, an upcoming documentary film produced by Jenny Lafemme and Maggie Derthick, the 2011 Movement Electronic Music Festival in Detroit only featured six female DJs out of 107 scheduled acts.
“I try not to think that I am different than anyone else,” Cecil said.
From being mistaken for a performer’s girlfriend to being taken slightly less seriously than her male counterparts, Cecil doesn’t let it faze her.
“I think a big compliment is when they [the crowd] think I am a dude on stage,” she said. “I think it is so cool.”
Following her performance at Shambhala, Cecil will head to Southern California for a networking and showcasing trip and has set the bar even higher for herself.
“By next year my goals are to play EDC in Vegas and I want to get into Coachella,” she said.
When Cecil looks back at her decision to become a DJ, she has no regrets.
“I love it all,” she said. “I love everything to do with it. I love the people I have met, the music I make, the things I have learned, I am very lucky.”
Whipped Cream performs at Koncept Nightclub on Friday (May 29). The doors open at 10 p.m. For more information, please visit www.konceptnightclub.com.
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